Gosh, This Is an Awesome Country

Let me begin with an obligatory quote stolen from Wikipedia:

Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament (BP) propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America

—Thomas Jefferson, November 29, 1775

So anyway, yesterday, I was at the gym. And I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but I was running along on the treadmill, blasting tunes into my head, while the news is rolling by on one of the televisions that these stupid gyms always have running, even if the screens block a really wonderful view out one of the windows. And some dreadful news about BP continuing to blast oil into the Gulf was rolling past. It made me so angry. So I indulged in a fantasy in which I and some buddies hijack that enormous BP oil skimmer, sail it to BP’s corporate headquarters at 1 St. James’s Square, London (which is about a half mile in from The Thames), and spray the place down with thick, gooey crude. (Shopping list: very long hoses.) Silly, hateful, vengeful fantasy, but it got my heart rate up quite nicely.

Which reminds me of what a great country this is.

Because I can share puerile thoughts like this. And while some might accuse me of being thoughtless or juvenile or classist, I won’t go to jail or witness my house flattened. And I can look off the deck of my hotel room and see, there in the Ventura Harbor, our nation’s flag flying above that of a skull-and-crossbones and think, you know, that’s really us: A nation of purists and pirates working side-by-side, in relative peace, with troubles abounding, but ultimately maintaining at the highest and best level a nation can.

So England, I really do love you. Your BPs and George IIIs notwithstanding, you’re my second favorite country, mostly because I’ve been there a lot and you speak the only language I do—better than me! But I like this country best because we can imagine doing wretched things to British Petroleum, and for good reason, without anyone charging us with treason. And anyone in This Big Bitter Bold 234-Year-Old America can dream of growing up to have fantasies about being a counter-productively vindictive, oil-spraying pirate. It didn’t make the final cut, but I’m sure Thomas Jefferson had that in his notes somewhere.

Next entry:I Just Finished Recording All My Video Series “Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced”

Previous entry:Martini Hour 072, In Which Deke Gets to Geek Out with a Kindred Spirit

  • Oh shift key, how we miss thee

    Did someone forget to constrain proportions when resizing the image of the flags? ;)

  • BP

    You do realise the BP (and it hasn’t been called ‘British Petroleum’ for a very long time) is 40% owned by American shareholders, don’t you? And only 40% by UK shareholders?

    Just saying.

  • lol foreclosure help


    foreclosure help

  • Less of the anti british rhetoric

    Im glad someones brought up the fact that BP hasnt been “British” protroleum since like late 90s, and alot the UK shareholders are pensioners.
    They have a headquarters in various countries.. Like Texas..and switzerland too. This company is multinational and has merged so many times they consider themselves “Beyond” not “british”.

    Barack Obama’s “anti-British” attack on BP backfired recently when it emerged a faulty valve blamed in Congress for the oil spill was from a US firm Cameron International..they supplied the explosion-prevention valve to BP which was meant to be failsafe, they are an entirely American-owned firm.

    So this is more than just a british cockup. They get paid to much these people

    and should pay severely for this historic disaster.

    Ive had enough of the “anti-British” rhetoric coming from the White House, with Mr Obama angrily denouncing BP as “British Petroleum” - which it has not been known as for since like 98, when the mergers started.

    Instead of venting off at the British Empire and saying youd like to spray the thames with the oil etc..  be better hitting these idiots where it hurts which is their bank accounts.  Doubt they even live over here half the time anyway.

    However Brit Tony Hayward deserves to be sprayed in thick gooey oil for being such a numbnut early on in the crisis!

    Some truth there me thinks,

    “I think The whole might of American wealth and technology is displayed as utterly unable to deal with the disastrous spill - so what more natural than a crude, bigoted, xenophobic display of partisan political Presidential petulance against a multinational company.

  • But Deke!

    Can’t you just scrub all the oil away in Photoshop with the sponge tool?

  • please re-read, mr./ms. sensitive

    not to start another revolution here but…

    i think if you re-read the post you’ll see that nowhere does deke blast england for the oil disaster or anything of the like. the only mention of the oil disaster is about his fantasy of spraying crude on the WORLD HEADQUARTERS of bp/british petroleum/beyond petroleum. the other references, as i read it, are about a disagreement from 234 years ago which has healed quite nicely.

    call me blind/naive, but i think you may be the first person i have come across since this debacle started that sees any anti british empire sentiments in this mess. as pissed off as i am about the whole thing, not once have i thought of this as britian’s fault. quite the opposite in fact. i blame our govt. for not kicking bp (whatever b stands for) to the curb in the first week and taking over. although, as you point out, it doesn’t appear as though it would have made much difference.

    just ease up on the sensitivity a little.

  • What’s in a name?

    When I hear various people in the USA calling BP -  ‘British Petroleum’  (for whatever reason - possibly political?) I am amused to recall, that British Petroleum was once known as ‘The Anglo-Iranian Oil company’.

    Hopefully the oil in the gulf will soon be brought under control and the clean-up will prove successful; something we all want.


  • I’m sure Deke’s trusty sidekick might have brought that up

    But seriously, there is no reasoning with this guy when he’s got one of his “I’ve been working too hard and just want to hang out and stir the shit with the dekeCommunity” post ideas. It’s because he misses you guys, especially when you use those sexy S’s where we tacky pirates put the pointy Z’s.

  • Extrapolating BP as Meaning British Petroleum

    Is not political. It’s etymological.

    The idea is, a company that has sinned (which BP plainly has) cannot hide behind its self-assigned acronym. Once upon a time, its name stood for something. There was pride there. Some President or CEO announced his station based on the worth of the corporation that surrounded him. Now he can hide behind two initials and hope that his retreating ass goes unnoticed as he begs for his life back? Guess what. You fucked up the planet, bitch. Time to own up.

    So no offense to England (as I believe I made evident here). And, yes, BP is largely owned by flaccid and, if they haven’t sold off by now, soulless Americans. But this company, like any other, has a history. If American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) took a chemical crap on the White Cliffs of Dover, I would be the first to have England’s back.

    In other words, it’s our planet. Why turn on the fellow sufferers when you can just as easily ask the bad guys why they suck?

  • Or even Entomological

    Or even Entomological   ..which is the scientific study of politicians
    .. opps sorry i mean insects.

    No just Ecological.

    This company has a history your right, just like many

    other once well known british companys/manufacturers, ive lost count

    of how many over the years that have been aquired by overseas interest.

    Whats in word you say, devils in the detail they choose their words wisely

    its just plain endless buck-passing and name-calling.

    Having a British CEO to deal with the media was priceless, just adds fuel to the fire.

    Yep, the bad guys as you say should answer for their mistakes.

    Over here many saw it as anti british rhetoric coming from the White house.

    At a time when we are at war together, not a popular war either
    not that wars are popular lol
    or even dare i say legal;)
    It just plays into the haters hands.

    Quite right you should be proud, i luv America too, american culture etc.

    Anyway enough politics ..lets get back to Cognitive linguistics

    I mean CS5.

    Less talk more action Mr Obama.

    By the way Deke do you think at some point later down the line you will

    do any tutorials or even a Lynda.com dvd on Indesign CS5 ?

  • History is a powerful thing

    History is a powerful thing.

    Sure England is a big part of BP’s history, just like Saddam Hussein is a big part of American history, you know, the days when Mr Rumsfeld would meet with the dictator to sell him guns and maps and then invade and occupy his country because he has too many guns and maps. That part of history killed more Iraqis than Saddam could ever have dreamed of, including thousands of your own people.

    As said, history is a powerful thing.

    I don’t think that anybody would argue against that BP have a liability, which may end up being huge, to rectify the damage caused. And it should be irrelevant where that company is listed and where its shareholders live. I think that what many of us on the UK side of the Atlantic object to is the politicisation (is that a word?) of the issues by Obama, in particular in the context of the anti-British rhetoric, and the absence of objectivity. A few relevant points which I hope are reasonably objective and well thought out:

    1. BP is called BP, not British Petroleum; it rebranded many years ago to reflect that it is actually a global business with well diversified ownership and income streams. The consistent use of ‘British Petroleum’ by US politicians is either deliberate political spinning or ignorant - both are less than ideal.

    2. BP have not handled the PR aspects of this incident well. However they have thrown enormous resources and technical expertise at the problem. It is diffiuclt to see what more they could have done.

    3. Obama’s personal comments directed at Tony Hayward are disgraceful. If it is subsequently proven that systemic bad practice within BP is to blame for this disaster, then throw the book at them. That is currently far from clear. Deep water drilling is intrinsically dangerous. If you conduct open heart surgery 100 times, at least 10 people will die. It carries risks. The reason that BP are granted licences for this practice in the Gulf of Mexico is not beacuse the Administration wants to help them make money; it is because the US does not want to rely on the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia for its energy. The solution is deep water drilling which carries risks and dangers. You cant have your cake and eat it. It would be helpful if Obama could maintain some veneer of objectivity and integrity in advance of any enquiry, and desist from acting as judge, jury and executioner - not exactly consistent with the principles of the US Constitution.

    None of the above in any way reduces the horrendous impact of this disaster and its real world effect on people’s lives. But Tony Hayward is not the devil and BP is not Enron. Many of us on this side of the Atlantic were excited about a new era in US politics when Obama came to power. It is very sad to see him exposed as a hypocrite and political spinner

  • It just plays into the

    It just plays into the haters hands. ‘As whole damn show’ has just proved.
    Sadam Hussein?  Really?  Do you feel better now?

    Did you just join up to the blog to post ya comment and vent off some steam? lol

    Back on topic.

    I asked earlier about Indesign CS5 .. but just seen Lynda.com has added a new
    lot of tutorials for Indesign on XML .
    So im guessing your not doing any Lynda.com Indesign CS5 additions as you still got lots to do i bet with the advanced One-One stuff.

    Anyways im enjoying the One on one Photoshop CS5 atmo, all good fun.


  • On a more salient topic

    I have no plans to do InDesign content for lynda.com. It’s just too crowded and they seem to have all their bases covered by very good people.

    Not to mention, I’m too busy speaking seemingly endlessly on Photoshop and Illustrator. Not to mention inciting a riot right here on the home page.

  • Yes, Really!

    lozwebcreative, I joined this blog to discuss the topics that are raised, and the articles that are posted by Deke and others. Different opinions and views are what makes a blog such a fantastic environment. I’ll not always agree with what you say, and vice-versa.

    For your information, I’m a long term reader but first time poster. I’m also a long-time fan of Deke and his work - I have many of his books and became a member of Lynda.com with the sole purpose of watching Deke’s videos (although I admit to watching other authors too).

    In fact, this is not the first time I’ve been tempted to join the blog. A few months back, when Deke proclaimed he had redesigned 90% of his Fundamentals course I was tempted to sign up and lobby for the inclusion of the Manly Saw project based around the Magic Wand. Thankfully I didn’t have to.


  • You were going to lobby FOR Manly Saw?

    Aw, that’s so sweet.

    That is one of the rare projects I kept. It always reminds me how uniquely flexible I am.

Be the first to drop some wisdom...